Staff Reporter MUSCAT Arab countries should go in for investment in the education sector to make its young fit for employment and industry ready, according to the findings of a research conducted by Alkabeer Capital , a leading asset management and investment firm based in Saudi Arabia. The report pointed to the initiative undertaken in Oman by the government under the Eighth Five-Year Development Plan (until 2015) which aimed at supporting higher education. "Ongoing investment is needed not only in secondary and university education but also in technical and vocational training for the lower skilled workforce which is essential in many less developed Arab countries," the research report said. The report which included data from Arab youth aged between 15 and 29 highlighted the main issues that affected their employment in the region. It also presented various initiatives that could be adopted at a national level to address these issues and help create jobs for the 11 million new entrants to the labour market in a year. "Governments across the Arab region have invested heavily in education in the past decade, yet the quality of human capital produced does not yet adequately match the needs of the labour market. Arab states are considered to have some of the world's most challenged educational systems. Statistics show that in Saudi Arabia, 43 per cent of those with tertiary education are unemployed while 22 per cent and 14 per cent of the educated youth are still seeking jobs in Morocco and the UAE , respectively," the report said. It points out the initiatives of the governments in Oman , Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Morocco which have helped create million of jobs for the youth. Besides Oman's education initiative under the Five-Year Development Plan, those by other countries were the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Programme in Saudi Arabia (till 2020) which is expected to pump SAR 9 billion into the educational system for Saudis to study abroad, King Abdullah Scholarship Programme for Technical Trainers, the Qatar National Vision 2030 outlays a higher education and work training plan for nationals and Morocco's Idmaj plan providing professional training for young graduates and the Taehil programme offering new graduates pre-employment skill work. Oman Tribune
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